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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Open Source UML

Someone asked how I draw UML diagrams, since I use Free Open Source Software I use a FOSS UML diagramming tool.

I've tried many many UML tools over the years including Rational Rose, ArgoUML, Poseidon, MS Word Paint, Kivio and finally Dia. The reason why I settled on Dia is because it's a Gnome application, and I prefer Gnome over KDE, and also because of Dia2code, which does a good job of auto generating source code templates from your UML diagrams. There's also a tool called AutoDia which can generate UML diagrams from source code, however, I prefer to use Doxygen to create UML from already written code.

Once I've drawn my UML diagram in Dia I like to import it into GIMP and make it look nice, see before:

and after:

There are some great books on how to use GIMP, in case you're interested, available here from amazon.

Have you found UML diagrams to be useful for designing your programs?

What UML tools do you use?

Have fun drawing your UML diagrams, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at


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